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Congress urges PM, defence minister to take nation into confidence on India-China border row

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NEW DELHI: The

Congress

on Saturday urged Prime Minister

Narendra Modi

and defence minister Rajnath Singh to take the nation into confidence on talks with China on the border row in Ladakh, saying people want to know about the outcomes of the repeated conversations with the Chinese side.

The opposition party’s demand comes a day after defence minister Rajnath Singh and his Chinese counterpart General Wei Fenghe held an over two-hour-long meeting in Moscow with a focus on easing escalating border tension in eastern Ladakh.

Congress’s chief spokesperson

Randeep Surjewala

said it was “Rajdharma” of the Prime Minister and the defence minister to take the nation into confidence on the important issue.

Listing the various levels of talks held with the Chinese from the foreign ministers level and corps commanders level to the defence ministers’ discussions, Surjewala asked what is the outcome of these talks.

“What is the conversation about, what is happening. Will Prime Minister Modi and defence minister Rajnath Singh take the country into confidence?” he asked.

Surjewala also referred to foreign secretary

Harsh Vardhan

Shringla’s remarks that it was an “unprecedented” situation at the India-China border and “we’ve never had this sort of a situation since 1962”, to underline the seriousness of the issue.

“The important part is what is the outcome of the repeated conversations with the Chinese counterparts by our government. How will we ensure that Chinese transgressions are defeated,” Surjewala said in a video posted on his Twitter account.

Modi Govt repeatedly talks to China-:EAM level – 1 time,NSA level – 2 times,Our Ambassador to China – 2 times… https://t.co/0LV0APwyHK

— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) 1599285071000

He said people want answers to questions such as how the Chinese will be repulsed to “reclaim our motherland”.

“We hope Prime Minister Modi and the defence minister will come forward and take the nation into confidence. That is the true Rajdharma. We will await an answer,” he said.

Later, at an online briefing, Congress leader

Rajeev Shukla

said, “We hope that the issue can be resolved through talks.”

He, however, demanded that the government should give a clear picture of the situation.

“Conflicting statements coming from the government is a matter of worry for us,” he added.

The tension between the two sides had escalated manifold after the violent clashes in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on June 15 in which 20 Indian Army personnel were killed. The Chinese side also suffered casualties but it is yet to give out the details. According to an American intelligence report, the number of casualties on the Chinese side was 35.

The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper owned by The Times Group. It is the third-largest newspaper in India by circulation and largest selling English-language daily in the world. according to Audit Bureau of Circulations.

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INDIA

Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter moves SC seeking to amend plea against continued detention of her mother

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SRINAGAR: Iltija Mufti, the daughter of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, has approached the Supreme Court seeking to modify her petition challenging the detention of her mother under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA).

Mehbooba, the president of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was arrested on the eve of the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and its bifurcation into Union Territories on August 5 last year.

In her application before the Supreme Court, Iltija said it has been filed praying for permission to amend the writ petition seeking inter alia a writ of habeas corpus.

“The amendment sought is to include grounds of challenge and additional prayers for challenging the orders of confirmation (dated February 26) and subsequent extensions (May 5 and July 31) of the detention order (of Mehbooba) impugned in the writ petition,” the application reads.

The writ petition has challenged Mehbooba’s detention on several grounds. It contends that the grounds and the dossier for detention are “stale, vague and that they suffer from non-application of mind, malice in law and that they violate the provisions of Section 8(3)(b) of the PSA”.

“The detention order based on stale grounds have become staler even more since the petition was filed and the respondent administration has continued to act with total non-application of mind and the malice in law has only been reinforced and aggravated in confirming and extending the order of detention for further periods,” it said.

Seeking permission to allow her to amend the section of the writ petition entitled “Prayers”, Iltija pleaded for issuance of the writ in the nature of habeas corpus commanding the respondents — the central and Jammu and Kashmir governments — to produce Mehbooba forthwith before the court for being set at liberty.

Pleading for direction or order quashing the impugned order of detention and subsequent extension orders, the application sought appropriate compensation to Mehbooba for the “illegal detention that she has suffered” and to award costs of the litigation to the petitioner.

“I have challenged her PSA order and the subsequent extensions to ensure her continued detention. Her detention is illegal and questionable in a democracy,” Iltija said, adding “a key opposition leader has been jailed for over a year without recourse to trial.”

She said the application has been filed to bring to the notice of the Supreme Court that the Jammu and Kashmir administration is yet to file a reply to its earlier order, which shows the respect the authorities have for courts.

“We are also bringing to notice of court the treatment the former chief minister has received where she has been deliberately kept out of bounds for party people and barred from attending to her duties as PDP president,” she said.

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PM Modi reviews Covid-19 situation with CMs, representatives of 7 states with high caseload

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday reviewed the Covid-19 pandemic situation with chief ministers and other representatives of seven high-case-load states through video conference.

The virtual meeting, also attended by health ministers of these states, began in the evening.

These states are Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Punjab, officials said, noting that more than 63 per of the active cases in the country are concentrated in these seven states.

They also account for 65.5 per cent of the total confirmed cases and 77 per cent of the total deaths, a statement had said earlier.

Along with the other five states, Punjab and Delhi have reported an increase in the number of cases being reported recently, they said, adding that Maharashtra, Punjab and Delhi are also reporting high mortality with more than two per cent case fatality rate (CFR).

Other than Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, the case positivity rate of these states has also been observed to be above the national average of 8.52 per cent.

The Centre, as per the statement, has been leading the fight against Covid-19 in effective collaboration and close coordination with the state and union territory governments.

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INDIA

Opposition parties request President Kovind not to give assent to contentious farm bills

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NEW DELHI: Opposition parties have requested President Ram Nath Kovind not to give his assent to the contentious farm bills, and conveyed to him that their passage in Rajya Sabha was “unconstitutional”, Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Wednesday.

The government should have consulted all parties, farmer leaders before bringing the farm bills, Azad said after meeting the President.

“The Constitution was undermined …We have given a representation to President that the farm bills have been passed unconstitutionally and he should return these bills,” Azad said.

The Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020, have been passed by both Houses and await presidential assent.

There was a ruckus during the passage of two of the three farm bills in Rajya Sabha on Sunday following which eight Opposition MPs were suspended.

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